Student painting his way to WorldSkills

Edinburgh College Painting and Decorating student Jordan Charters is nearing the crunch time of an intensive two-year training programme in preparation for selection to represent the UK at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi later this year.

The bi-annual competition Worldskills is the largest international skills competition in the world and Jordan is one of only two painters competing for the chance to represent the UK in the Painting and Decorating category. Jordan is up against Jordan Jeffers from Southern Regional College in Northern Ireland.

Competitors spend more than two years preparing for the competition, fitting training around everyday work and study commitments.

College graduate and 2009 WorldSkills Painting and Decorating gold medallist Mark Nevin is playing the Paulie to Jordan’s Rocky, and mentoring him through the preparation alongside Peter Walters, a WorldSkills Training Manager.

Jordan has five modules to undertake in preparation for going in front of the UK team selectors between March and April. The skills he is practising are: wallpapering, water-based glosses, speed design, letter and free technique (own design), both indoors and outdoors and in a wide variety of working environments.

Robert Taylor, lecturer in Painting & Decorating at Edinburgh College said: “Jordan is one of three students we have had over the last ten years that have had that extra ability to reach world-class level. There is no doubt that at this level the competition is virtually as big as the Olympics with all the preparation, practice and motivation required to exceed or be successful in securing a medal.

“We have numerous competition winners nationally but to be successful at this level you have to be able to problem solve quickly, think on your feet and cope with people passing you all the time whilst trying to complete tasks to the highest level of quality over a three-day period. Our thanks go out to Peter Walters and former winner, Mark Nevin for mentoring our student.”

Jordan said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am determined to make the team. To have the chance to compete for my country in Abu Dhabi would be amazing and I’m working hard to ensure I make it.”

WorldSkills runs from 14-19 October 2017 in a specially created facility in Abu Dhabi. The competition showcases 45 skills and 72 countries compete.

Mark Nevin studied at the college in 2003 and competed at WorldSkills Calgary in 2009 in the Painting and Decorating category. He secured the gold medal in his category and the highest individual score for the UK team.

The UK is currently seventh in the WorldSkills world rankings.